Metro chief highlights critical need for public transit among low-income families

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority General Manager Paul Wiedefeld acknowledged the critical need low-income families have for public transit, as Metro gets ready to start accelerated track work to boost safety and reliability.

“A little more than a quarter of all our Metro trips are taken by low-income riders with households [incomes] less than $30,000 [a year],” he said during Montgomery County’s annual Affordable Housing Conference on Monday, May 16.

Of the 25 percent of low-income riders, Wiedefeld said 11 percent are riding Metrorail while 52 percent are riding Metrobuses.

The Metro chief has often said that it is critical to rebuild Metro’s infrastructure after years of maintenance neglect. He said that low-income riders underscored the need.

“It just shows the importance of making the system work, and it has to work well to serve these people who have limited choices,” Wiedefeld said.

Also, Wiedefeld discussed WMATA’s plans to sharply increase track work, which will bring regular disruptions on Metro rail in the year ahead.

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